Some of the campaign team (Phil Wilson MP second from the right) out in Middridge village on Saturday morning
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may have formed the opinion that there is nothing I like better than sinking my teeth into the pale white hides of Liberal Democrats. Politically speaking, that is. And for the most part, you'd be absolutely right.
But there is another class of politician for whom I reserve a special and particular contempt. They are so-called Labour Independents.
To be clear, I have nothing against genuine independents, although at the district and county level they sometimes are politicians who 'dare not speak their name' - left-leaning in Tory areas and the mirror opposite in Labour territory. Where overtly flying your political badge would be tantamount to hari-kiri.
No, the characters I'm referring to are people who were happy enough to accept the Labour shilling when selected and sit as Labour councillors, but who suddenly discovered a deep contempt for the Party when local members had the temerity to conclude that they were rubbish, and duly selected someone else. They then spend all their time slagging off Labour in the local press. It's scant consolation that they normally get found out by the electors in the fullness of time. In the intervening period, they damage the Party and IMHO bring politics into disrepute. I loathe them.
Anyway, rant over. Just to the north of us, in Newton Aycliffe and Shildon, there's a nest of them, who came back into my consciousness after this ridiculous story in the Echo recently.
So I intend to spend some time with colleagues over the next few weeks assisting with the Labour effort. And it was a pleasure to be out on Saturday in the Greenfield Middridge area to help my old friend Brian Stephens and long-standing local councillor Dorothy Bowman.
We were joined by Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson, and my team knocked on almost every door in Middridge. Despite some rather *ahem* challenging national polls at the moment, we got a very good reception, and I only found one person who said they were definitely voting for an opposition candidate. Certainly, Dorothy Bowman has been an excellent hard-working Councty Councillor, attested by everyone who spoke to me.
It was a really positive morning.